How can academics from the Global North have an impact without imposing their idea(l)s on people in the Global South?

Georg von Richthofen, Ali Aslan Gümüsay

Zusammenfassung
How can academics from the Global North have an impact without imposing their ideas and mindset on people in the Global South? We share key principles for changemakers interested in resolving this conundrum, based on a research project that involved activities in seven Global South countries.
Lightning Box 2
Vortrag
Englisch
Conference

While academics in the Global North increasingly focus on relevance, they still tend to neglect engaging with grand challenges holistically – oftentimes ignoring the Global South. When they do, they tend to fall into one of the following traps. One is to offer solutions based on knowledge that was created in the Global North, and which lacks contextual relevance as a consequence. Another is to use the Global South to extract data to create knowledge, with both data and knowledge likely ending up locked up in universities or behind paywalls. This raises the question: How can academics from the Global North have an impact without imposing their ideas and mindset on people in the Global South?

This was a question that we also asked ourselves when we embarked on a large-scale research project on “Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Global Digital Transformation” funded by GIZ that involved activities in seven Global South countries, including Benin, Mexico and Vietnam. In the session, we will share and discuss key principles, takeaways, and challenges for academics and changemakers interested in resolving this conundrum.

This session is part of our focus topic on "freedom" as part of the Science Year 2024.